10 practices to Navigate Social Situations with a Newly Homed Rescue Dog with a Bite History
- Ears that are held sideways or back
- Dilated pupils
- A low or tucked tail
- A tense, low body posture
- Attempting to hide or turn away
- Refusing treats
- Lip licking or yawning
- Hyper vigilance and a slow or hesitant movement
- Panting or pacing These signs may indicate that the dog is feeling anxious or stressed in the presence of humans
1. Find a good qualified trainer asap
2. You can't love a bite history away by hugging, petting, or buying really expensive beds for your dog
3. Understand the body language and signs a reactive dog is getting uncomfortable
4. Body language signs of a human reactive dog may include:
5. Provide plenty of exercise, mental stimulation, and positive reinforcement to keep the dog mentally and physically healthy.
6. Do not hesitate to coach people to give your dog distance and do not pet
7. Be patient and consistent in your training and interactions with the dog, and always prioritize safety over progress.
Just like with people getting over PTSD, it doesn't happen over night. It's something you practice every day to the point that you begin to rewire your reactions from a new habit. It takes time.
8. Use a leash and a muzzle in public until the dog is comfortable and well-trained.
Work with a trainer to get comfortable on how to muzzle your dog.